The classic engagement ring may be a shiny white diamond with a gold or platinum band. But, modern brides are looking to branch out with a design that feels a bit more personal. Gothic engagement rings are the moody jewelry alternative that’s quietly reaching the mainstream. From black diamond to tarnished silver, these emerging styles are far from your average shiny bauble.
Jared Klusner, founder and antique jewelry buyer of New York City-based jewelry store Erstwhile, started to see the gothic engagement ring trend emerge around five years ago, and he believes the fashion cycle is in part influencing its return. “In the ‘90s, goth was a huge thing, and the ‘90s are a thing now,” he explains. With women who grew up in the era now in their 20s and 30s, they are drawing on their own childhood nostalgia for inspiration.
Brooklyn-based jewelry brand Catbird has also seen gothic ring styles grow in popularity, with customers taking interest in both vintage and new styles. “For years now, we have seen customers who seek the juxtaposition of fine materials with a bit of darkness expressed through motif, inscription, and stone [such as] black diamonds, rubies, a rose-cut diamond set in oxidized silver,” Sriya Karumanchi, Director Of Marketing and Communications at Catbird, tells TZR.
As shoppers shift spending from the traditional towards more personalized bridal experiences, the engagement ring industry is following suit. Rare-cut rings, such as hexagon shapes and kite diamonds, have become a hit among customers as have colorful stones and custom designs.
Below, find six gothic ring trends, according to the pros. Your ring will be one that people immediately notice, no doubt.
We only include products that have been independently selected by The Zoe Report's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
Gothic Engagement Rings: Rose-Cut Diamonds
Ashley Zhang, founder of Ashley Zhang jewelry, is seeing a surge in rose-cut diamonds, an antique style that was popular in the 1700s. “[The cut] gave the diamond a deeper color with a surface sparkle,” she adds. “These diamonds are very romantic with a subtle sparkle. The top of the diamond is a faceted dome, with the bottom being flat.”
Gothic Engagement Rings: Rustic Diamonds
Grace Lee, founder of Grace Lee jewelry, says dark grey rustic diamonds (stones with lots of small inclusions) are a trend for some of the brand’s clients. “Some clients find more beauty in the natural darker diamonds as opposed to the traditional white or clear diamond,” she notes. “The color and gradient of dark rustic diamonds is something that cannot be replicated and only found in these natural diamonds.”
Gothic Engagement Rings: Victorian Vintage
“Jewelry from the Victorian era can feel a little witchy with its use of two-tone silver on gold, and moodier, with less vibrant single cut diamonds as accents,” Emily Wandland, Director of Marketing at Trumpet & Horn, tells TZR. If you’re looking for something that’s not a blinding diamond, consider a ring detailed with a ruby or sapphire stone from the era.
Gothic Engagement Rings: Tarnished Metals
Wandland says vintage and heirloom pieces are very popular these days, and over time these antique pieces lose their intense sheen. “The tarnished look on silver or gold automatically gives us a very old-world feel,” she notes. “We love finding old jewelry with a natural patina and get a lot of requests to oxidize newly-made pieces to achieve the same look. The blackened, almost roughened look adds to the story of a piece of jewelry — this was well-loved and living and loving its new chapter of life!”
Gothic Engagement Rings: Black Diamonds
According to Karumanchi, black diamonds aren’t necessarily a trend, more so a classic within the jewelry space, just with a dark edge. “It's a symbol of everlasting love while breaking with tradition in just the slightest,” she explains. “There's also a lot of versatility in the market in terms of the cut, setting, and mood of the black diamond that speaks to you.”
Gothic Engagement Rings: Salt & Pepper Diamonds
“Setting a salt and pepper diamond can have a remarkably chic effect,” Jennifer Gandia, co-owner of Greenwich St. Jewelers, tells TZR. “These diamonds are stormy, imperfect, and alluring — they draw you in with their dark magic, and are a favorite of gothic and all-black clad lovers!”